flowers garden peonies

We’ve all been there, facing the impossible question: to cut or not to cut? With Peonies, it can be even harder to decide. Should you leave the big, puffy blooms in the garden to impress anyone passing by (neighbors, butterflies, yourself)? Or, do you cut them and enjoy them just for yourself displayed proudly in a vase on your dining room table? If you decide to give them the axe and enjoy them indoors, we’ve got a few tips to help keep them lasting longer so you feel good about your decision - and they last as long as possible!  

When To Cut 

It may be tempting to have the best of both worlds — let the Peonies bloom in the garden and enjoy them a few days before cutting and bringing them indoors — but the best time to cut Peonies is right before they’ve completely opened up. You want the color of the Peonies to be showing, but not completely blown out into flower. Early morning is always the best time to cut if possible. Once you get your Peonies inside, they will open up within a day or two and last much longer in the vase. 

These beauties are ready to cut!

How To Cut  

Cutting Peonies is a breeze. The most important part is to make sure you’re starting with clean, sanitized shears. In between uses (or once a week), wash with warm, soapy water and then apply alcohol to the blades. Once you’re ready to chop those Peonies down, simply cut as far down the stem as you’d like, making a clean, diagonal cut. It’s OK if your original cuts aren’t great, you can re-cut them once you’re getting them ready for the vase. 

Cut the foliage from the bottom of the stems so there is none touching water in your vase.

How To Arrange 

Now that you’ve cut your Peonies, it’s time to clean them up! Figure out what size vase you want to use and trim the foliage of your stems so there isn’t any that will be submerged in water. This helps keep the stem and water fresh and avoid early rotting. Give them another fresh cut and make sure to place them in a clean vase that has been scrubbed with warm water and soap. This will help keep bacteria away and keep the blooms longer. If you’re adventurous, add other blooms from your garden that are showing off at the same time like Daisies, Catmint, or Irises. Make sure to change the water in your vase daily to keep them fresh and lasting longer.

Pair Peonies with other garden varieties blooming at the same time, such as Daisies, Catmint, and Irises. 

Cutting For Special Occasions 

If you’re cutting your Peonies for a special occasion, keep them in the refrigerator (away from any fruit to avoid rotting) and take them out a day or two before the event. This will keep them closed up and fresh until you’re ready to put them out on display. To store in the fridge, wrap them in damp newspaper and keep them horizontally — when stored properly, they will last for weeks until ready to use. 

Show off your hard work on social media!

Now that you know you’ve made the right decision to cut your Peonies and display them indoors, enjoy the fruits of your labor! Snap a photo (or 8) and post it on social media or send it to your garden-loving friend. Just because they aren’t in the garden for everyone to see doesn’t mean you can’t show them off! 


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